Monday, April 25th 2011
Easter Sunday Smackdown

Yesterday after the Easter church service, a very angry woman confronted Mike in a (non-church) parking lot and told him off.

I was on the other side of the car, not directly witnessing the conversation, but thinking, “Oh, AMEN, sister that is EXACTLY what I’m talking about half the time.”

[I'm SO nice]

Perhaps if I’d seen how REALLY angry she was, or heard exactly how she was speaking to my dear husband, I mighta been a bit more, um, appropriately on his side. But I didn’t. All I knew was that that lady in the parking lot was saying everything I’d said to him the day before about watching and not cutting people off and looking out for other people. She’s just, well, a more forceful communicator.

I tend to tense up in the passenger seat, get really silent, and then right as we’re pulling out in front of someone else in a thoroughly unfortunate manner, squeak, “THERE’S A TRUCK THERE!” And Mike always says, “But I didn’t see it,” as if this explains everything. And then I say, “But it’s your responsibility to LOOK and to SEE it because YOU ARE THE DRIVER.”

Mike is one of the most generous people I know. If he sees you, and for any reason thinks you are in need, then watch out. He will pour blessings on you until you drown. But the key component with that is that first he must see you. And he often does not see people. Anyone. Everyone. No one. It’s nothing personal. It’s just him.

Mike is that guy in the grocery store whose shopping basket will block the aisle until you smile sweetly and say, “excuse me.” And he’ll smile back and apologize with great sincerity and then move over.

And then he’ll do the exact same thing on the next aisle. And the next. And the next. With genuine sincerity each and every time. And he’s not trying to start up a conversation with you. He’s just in his own little world until you interrupt briefly and then he’s back there again right up until you interrupt him again on the next aisle.

It’s the same when he drives. He does not MEAN to be inconsiderate. He really doesn’t see you. He’ll cut you off, steal your parking space, and zoom ahead when he does not have the right-of-way by ANY stretch of the imagination. But he really, REALLY did not see you.

Some people will SEE you and then decide your presence is not worth their consideration. And that is not Mike.

It might not feel like that big a difference, but it is. I think. I mean, it’s not right. At all. Which is why we have an ongoing tense discussion about it every time he drives. Which isn’t often, because he’s not around much and when he is we don’t really go places together in one car. We tend to meet up at places instead. This is a very good strategy.  And we almost never go to the grocery store together. When we do, I’m that wife who is constantly pulling that husband out of your way by tugging oh so patiently on his arm. Over and over.

After the Easter Sunday Parking Lot Smackdown, in which Mike was soundly and shockingly defeated in a surprise attack – he was grumpy. He was silent. And then he was grumpy some more. When we were hiding eggs later, I called him the Grumpiest Easter Bunny Ever and he said, “But she was really mean.” He didn’t steal that woman’s parking space on purpose. He honestly would not EVER do that, much less on Easter right after church. He just didn’t see her there, much less see her angry confrontation coming his way.

I know what that’s like. When a stranger suddenly gets mad at you and you have NO idea what you did until they yell it at you and the whole thing catches you by surprise. It’s a nasty feeling. Some guy in the neighborhood did that to me last year because of a dog conflict I never understood. It upset me a lot. It would have upset me even more if Mike were standing there calmly explaining exactly why I probably deserved that sort of treatment.

Which is what I did. Lovely, right? I think it was, “I’m sorry she treated you like that, but your part is that you consistently drive in such a way that creates these scenarios.” I’m betting he probably only felt and heard that last part.

And that last part? I’ve been saying different versions of that  for years. Even though it hasn’t helped a bit. Maybe it’s time that I stop.

Have you ever been cut off on the freeway by some guy and then looked to see if his wife in the passenger seat was hitting him over the head for you? I have. Even though the only driver on the planet who can really make me mad is Mike. I generally just can’t get that upset. But I still check to see if the wife is reacting to her jerk of a husband in a way that I can appreciate. And other times I check and see a wife staring off, pretending not to have noticed or cared that her husband has just behaved very badly. When THAT happens, I get irritated with both of them. She may not have been driving, but she was there and ignored it. Hit your man over the head and be a true “helpmeet” just like Genesis says, woman! At least give him a dirty look. Something!

But now… maybe I’ve been too hard on those women. Maybe they’ve just realized that their feedback is pointless and it’d be better for their sanity to just let it go. I never really liked those women. I’d  hate to turn into one. But I won’t judge them quite so much from now on.

He probably just didn’t see me, anyway.

It happens.


6 Comments on “Easter Sunday Smackdown”

Jennifer Sullivan
April 25th, 2011
8:54 pm

Really? A tirade over a parking space? I wonder if that woman ever stopped to think that people get SHOT for things like that. Over a parking space. It’s just not worth the anger. Was she pregnant? Because if she was, then she’s forgiven because she can’t control it, I kow these things. But otherwise, what a witch. Poor Mike. However, it now explains why the insurance liability is so high, he did it because of him, not you.
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..I’m not crazy- ‘kay maybe just a little

Jennifer Sullivan
April 25th, 2011
8:55 pm

Please feel free to correct the spelling of know to include the n. I don’t mind and you can delete this OCD comment afterwards. I may become obsessed with the spelling mistake otherwise.

Headless Mom
April 25th, 2011
9:03 pm

I agree with Jennifer…. a parking space? Sheesh. However, I totally get your stance. My husband does similar stuff so I totally get the “GAH” feeling. Usually it’s when we’re walking somewhere and he cuts people off. Similar.
Headless Mom recently posted..Unplugged

April 26th, 2011
5:34 am

That was pretty rude of her to cause a scene in a parking lot over a silly parking space, but if he’s that way on the road you’re right to correct him. Not seeing someone is never a good excuse for poor driving. That’s just plain dangerous. I think I’d be driving a separate vehicle too.
Geekwif recently posted..Jane Eyre Again And Other Books

April 27th, 2011
11:47 pm

I do not know the n of which you obsess. Really. I refuse to go searching, and most certainly will NOT edit if I do stumble across it. but that’s darling of you. on another note… i don’t think people actually DO get shot over things like that here… but i will pray for you a little extra now! : )

you! KNOW! you get it!!!

agreed. (thanks for saying it)

Jennifer Sullivan
April 28th, 2011
8:06 pm

People in Vegas have been shot over parking spots. I think it’s all the pollution destroying their brain cells. I guess I will have to ignore the messed up spelling. I always notice spelling mistakes people make and want to fix them. I guess Texas is more laid back about shooting people, which I kinda find funny but I guess being laid back with people hunting and having shot guns and the death penalty makes it a lot less fun to just shoot someone because they take your parking spot. Let’s hope the crazy lady doesn’t visit Vegas. And that if Mike visits Vegas you drive.
Jennifer Sullivan recently posted..I’m not crazy- ‘kay maybe just a little

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